October 2003               


October 1 – 7 – We spent the week in Casper.  The weather was fantastic.  Sunny and warm.  We got the trailer washed and a good coat of Protect All on it.  We also cleaned all the windows, inside and out.  It looks really great now.  We also got the laundry done.

            Dick’s server had a problem and Dell sent a new motherboard.  A technician came out and installed it.  We are back up and running again. 

            Millie has been doing some cross-stitching and reading.  We also enjoyed visiting with a couple next to us.  They were from Baggs, WY and had come to Casper to get a new Titanium 5th wheel.  They spent a couple of days at the RV Park in order to check out the unit and see that everything worked. 

October 8 & 9 – We are on the road.  We had planned to stop north of Denver to visit the Anhauser Busch Brewery and see the Clydesdale horses.  Well, not to be.  The tours are only Thursday thru Sunday after September.  This is the third time we have missed getting to see the horses.

            We spent one night in Strasburg, CO and headed for Russell, KS

October 10 – We drove south out of Russell, KS going to Hutchison.  We are on our way to the Travel Supreme Owners Association International Rally at the Kansas State Fairgrounds.

            We arrived in the afternoon and were directed to a space by our Wagonmaster, Henry Hauffe.  After getting everything in order and our hook-ups done, we grabbed our chairs and walked down to the Hauffe’s to join the rest of the group who were visiting.

It was a nice evening and we enjoyed the fellowship. 

October 11 – Today is Millie’s birthday.  We spent a quiet day, chatting with members of the club who had already arrived for the rally and just hanging around.  Dick to Millie for dinner for her birthday, then we came home and watched TV. 

October 12 – As our rally doesn’t officially start until this afternoon and there is an Avion rally here that is just finishing up, we were parked in temporary spots.  As soon as the Avion people started moving out, Henry and BJ started assigning spaces to those of us who had come in early and we all started moving. 

            After we got to our new space, we did some decorating on the outside of the rig for fall.  Millie had some fall garland to go around the door and a fall wreath for the outside.  She also had a couple of pots of mums and a pumpkin.  The rally is having a contest for the best-decorated rig but there are some that are much better done than ours.

            We went out to eat, then home and watched some TV.  We went to bed early; tomorrow is going to be an early day.

October 13 – Today we were up early and boarded a bus for a tour of the Hutchison area.  Our first stop was the Fox Theater in downtown.  This wonderful theater was built in 1931 and is on the Register of National Historic Places.  The director gave us a tour of the facility.  The theater is fully restored and in use for concerts, films and live theater.   It was built in the grand style of theaters from the era and is very beautiful.  It even has fully operational marques, which is very unusual, as most of them were torn out.

            Our next stop was the Hedrick’s Exotic Animal Farm.  We were given a tour and introduced to many of the animals at the farm.  We fed the giraffes and petted calves.  We saw the buffalo and the large herd of camels they have.  They even have a couple of white camels.  We also saw ostrich and were shown ostrich eggs.  Our last area on the tour was to see the kangaroos and get to pet them. 

            Back on the bus, we headed back into Hutchison for lunch at the local buffet.  After lunch we were taken to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.  We watched the IMAX film in the Carey IMAX Dome Theater.  The great thing to us was that the projection booth had a large glass wall and we watched as the film was loaded into the projector.  This is quite an operation.  We have been to several of the IMAX theaters, but this is the first one that has a viewing area of the projection room and we enjoyed watching this operation.

            After the film, our group attended the show at the Justice Planetarium Theater.  This show was interesting and it was just like sitting in your yard watching the stars.  The show also contained a laser light presentation.

            Next we were taken on a private guided tour of the Space Center.  If you are ever in Kansas, this is a must see.  We have been to several Space Museums and this is the best.  The Cosmosphere has the largest collection of space artifacts outside the Smithsonian and the largest collection of Soviet space hardware in the Western world.  The exhibits trace the history of space exploration beginning with the onset of rocketry by Germany during the World War II.  They even have the Apollo 13 command module.

We will definitely go back there one day when we have time to spend at least a whole day there.

            After returning to the fairgrounds, we were treated to a dinner catered by Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q.  Everyone enjoyed the meal and we were all full by the time it was over.  The group the adjourned to the Hansen Auditorium for our Opening Ceremonies and the evening’s entertainment, “Heaven Bound”, a gospel quartet. 

            It was a long busy day and we were ready for bed early.

October 14 – Our day began early with breakfast and a seminal sponsored by Sky Med.

Our next seminar was on Travel Supreme, conducted by Don Brubaker, Director of Warranty & Service for Travel Supreme. Our last seminar of the morning was by the RV Safety Education Foundation.  Dick got us signed up to have our rig weighed by this group.  They will be weighing on Friday as we are leaving the rally.

            We took a lunch break, and then later attended the last seminar of the day on medium & heavy-duty truck maintenance, conducted by Doonan Truck and Equipment of Wichita.

            Doonan’s had a couple of Peterbuilt conversions on display and Dick wanted to look at them.  We took the larger one for a test drive.  Even though it was an automatic, it seemed very complicated to operate.  We are exploring options, so we will look at some others before we make any decisions.

            After we had dinner, we went back to the theater for the evening entertainment.

“The Buhler Singers” from Buhler High School.  There were two choirs in this group and they were both excellent.  These young people not only have great voices, but also some great choreography.  We all went home tapping our toes and feeling uplifted.

October 15 – Today we attended seminars by Coil & Wrap (Don’t Go without Velcro),  RV Safety Education (Radial Tire Safety & getting the most from your RV Tires) and LinkRV (Mobile Communications).

            After dinner at home we went to the recreation hall for an evening of Bingo. There was also a Halloween costume contest.  There were some great costumes.  

October 16 – Millie was up at 5:00 this morning as she was helping with the pancake breakfast.  Not only was the breakfast tasty, but a lot of fun as well.  A company named Chris Cakes did the breakfast.  As you come in the hall, you are given a plate and directed to the large portable grill.  The young lady making the pancakes (I’m sorry I don’t remember her name) flips the pancakes at you.  It was a hoot watching folks catching their pancakes. 

            After breakfast we attended the Seminar on the 2004 Travel Supreme Trips.  The rally next year will be in Goshen, IN.  We got signed up; early birds will get the full hook-up spaces.

            The afternoon was spent checking out the Arts and Crafts Show & Sale and resting.

            Our farewell dinner was a good catered meal.  Everyone again got plenty to fill them up.  Following dinner we had our Closing Ceremonies and Awards. 

            Our final evening’s entertainment was “A Song in My Heart” by Ron and Kay Rivoli.  This dynamic couple are Rvers and musicians.  Kay takes many popular tunes and writes lyrics to them pertaining to the life on the road.  It was a terrific show and we enjoyed it greatly. 

            We were in bed early, as we had a 9:00 appointment in the morning to get our rig weighed, so we will be up early to get packed up.

October 17 – We were up and packed up early.  We then walked over to the recreation hall for the farewell breakfast of donuts, coffee and juice.  After saying our goodbyes, we hitched up and drove to the area designated for weighing.

            Our rig was weighed, with each wheel placed on a scale and weighed individually. We were not surprised at our weight, but we were surprised at the area where we were over.  Our rear wheel on the door side is overloaded and we really can’t figure out why.  It is where our small living room slide with the sofa is located and we don’t have a lot of extra there.  We will see what we can do to get it lightened.

            We left Hutchison around 9:30 and drove to Carthage, MO.  We checked into Cubby Bear RV Park at The Precious Moments Chapel.  This is a very nice park with large sites and concrete patios. 

            After getting set up, we hopped on the free shuttle bus to the main complex.  We had dinner at Souper Sam’s Homestyle Buffet.  Then we walked over to the Precious Moments store to do some shopping.  We purchase the dated Precious Moments Ornaments each year for our grands and decided we would stop here and get them.  We were here a number of years ago on Easter weekend and toured the facilities.  They have added a lot to the complex since then.  

            Another hop on the shuttle and we were back at the park.  We watched some TV and then off to bed.

October 18 – Today we were off to a leisurely start.  We arrived at America’s Best Campground in the early afternoon.  This is the week for our Travel Supreme “Autumn in Branson” rally.  We have about 20 units registered.  Some of us have come in early, however there is another rally here and using the spaces we will have for our rally.  Dick got us registered and parked in our space for the next couple of days.

            We had tickets reserved for the evening at the Palace Grand Theater.  We drove downtown and parked, picked up our tickets, then looked for a place to eat.  We decided on Sadie’s Sideboard.  We have eaten there before. 

            After we filled our tummies, we walked back over to the theater.  This was the last night for the Oak Ridge Boys and we are fans of theirs, so we were happy to have been able to get tickets for the show.  This is the first time we have seen them in a smaller venue and we enjoyed the show.  There was a lot more audience interaction in this show.

October 19 – Happy Birthday Ann!  Henry was around early; assigning the spaces we would have for the rest of the week.  We got hitched up and moved over to our space.  After setting up and getting things in order, we drove to Branson West and did some grocery shopping.  We also got laundry done.

            In the afternoon we all gathered at Kay and Henry’s for a short meeting and to get our schedules for the week.  After visiting for a while, everyone wandered back to their units.

            At 5:00 we met at the Pavilion for a catered dinner and entertainment.  After dinner, we went home to spend a quiet evening.

October 20 – After a free morning, we all boarded a bus and headed into Branson.  Our first stop was the Mountain Man Fruit and Nut Company.  We all noshed on samples of their products and did some shopping.  Dick and Millie walked up to a quilt shop in the same shopping area and browsed at quilts.  We found two that we liked and after not being able to decide on one, purchased them both. 

            Our next stop as the Pierce Arrow Theater for the afternoon show.  This was an entertaining show and we all had a really great time.  After the show, one of the performers boarded our bus and thanked us all for coming. 

            We returned to the campground where we did dinner on our own.  At 7:00 we again boarded our bus and went to see the Country Tonite show. 

October 21 – After a free morning we boarded the bus and drove to the beautiful campus of The College of the Ozarks.  We were joined on the bus by one of the student guides and toured the Chapel, Jelly and Fruitcake kitchen and the greenhouses and mill.  This school is founded on students working and 90% of the student body earns their tuition by working in various areas of the school.  They have a dairy farm and also have students who do weaving and basket making. 

            After the campus tour we drove to the Ralph Foster Museum (Smithsonian of the Ozarks) for a tour.  Dick and Mille had visited this museum before, but we enjoyed visiting again.  One exhibit of interest is the Beverly Hillbillies car from the TV series.

            We returned to the park for dinner and re-boarded the bus at 7:00 for the Baldknobbers Jamboree.  This show is the one that started the whole Branson entertainment business.  It is a fun and entertaining show.

October 22 – At 8:30 we were on the bus to go to the IMAX Theater where we saw the film “Ozarks Legend and Legacy”.  Afterwards we wandered through the shops in the complex, then back to the park for a free afternoon. 

            At 4:45 we were back on the bus for our final evening.  We had dinner at the Golden Corral.  This is the #1 Golden Corral in the nation and is not your normal Golden Corral.  We had a private dining room and our food was served to us.  After dinner we had entertainment by an excellent vocalist who did a very good show.  Sorry, I don’t remember his name, but he is a former Houston, TX police officer.  Where else could you get a show at the Golden Corral? 

            Our last evening’s entertainment was the Shoji Tabuchi Show.  We had seen Shoji many years ago when he was still working in one of the other shows in Branson.  This man is an entertainer in a grand way and his show is quite a production.  We had a great time and can see why this is considered the hottest ticket in Branson.

October 23 – Our last morning for the rally.  We had a continental breakfast at the pavilion, and then said our goodbyes to those who were leaving.  Several units of us stayed for another day. 

             Dick and Millie went to Silver Dollar City for the day.  We always enjoy going to this park and seeing all the crafts, etc.  They were having their Festival of American Music and Craftsmanship and we had a good time listening to the musical groups and watching the various craftspeople at work.

October 24 – We went to the Post Office and checked on our mail again.  It was in today.  We came home and sorted through it, then spent a quiet day.  Millie did go to a cross-stitch shop to pick up some thread and beads she needed. 

            After dinner at the Olive Garden, we met the rest of the group at the Pierce Arrow Theater for the evening show.  This group offers a special deal, if you attend one of their shows, you can get a ticket for another at ˝ price.  As the matinee and evening shows are different, we had decided we would all go back for the evening show.  It was a fun evening and we enjoyed being with the group.

October 25 – We said our goodbyes to everyone this morning and headed east through Missouri.  It was 60 degrees and cloudy when we left Branson.  We crossed Missouri and into Illinois.  We stopped for the evening in Springfield, IL.

October 26 – We left Springfield early; it was 42 degrees and clear.  We drove north and then east, crossing the boarder into Indiana and on to Elkhart.  We found the new Travel Supreme Service Center and got set up in one of the spaces provided. 

            We drove into Elkhart and had dinner, then back home for a quiet evening.

October 27 – We were up at 5:00, dressed and had everything ready to move.  Our appointment for service was at 6:30.  The service writer came out to our space and went over our list of repairs with us.  We then loaded up Missy and Ming into the truck and went into Elkhart to have breakfast. 

            After breakfast we stopped at International RV World and visited with Dave Titus for a while.  Dave is the person who sold us our Travel Supreme.  We have been debating whether we would maybe want to change to a Motor Home or just get a heavier duty truck.  It was good to have someone to talk with about it and Dave gave us quite a bit to think about. 

            We then drove to Plymouth, IN to the Weir Factory to take a look at their MDT conversions.  They only had one truck to look at and didn’t really seem to be too interested in even talking to us.  That’s one off our list!

            Our next stop was in Shipshewana, IN in the heart of Amish Country.  Millie wanted to make another trip to Yoder Department Store.  This store has a huge selection of fabrics and also caters to the Amish community, selling things that they need. 

            We returned to Travel Supreme about 2:00 and our unit was sitting back outside.  Dick went inside to check on our status.  We are finished!  We were happy about this, they are predicting rain and maybe snow overnight and we were glad not to have to stay for several more days.

            We went to Amish Acres for dinner.  We have eaten there a couple of times before and enjoy their Threshers Dinner.  Millie also picked up a Shoo-Fly Pie.

October 28 – It began raining during the night and was about 40 degrees when we left Wakarusa.  So far it hadn’t snowed and we were thankful for that. 

            We headed south towards Indianapolis where we picked up the Interstate.  We drove through Louisville, KY and on to Goodlettsville, TN where we planned to spend several days.

October 29 –We drove into Nashville to the Neely Coble Truck Sales to take a look at the International M2 conversion that they do.  Matt Ikard , the salesman, was very helpful and took us out to see the trucks that were just being delivered.  He didn’t have any of the finished units on the lot, but told us how to get to Wil-Ro where they do the conversion.  He called and let them know we would be coming to take a look. 

            After leaving Neely Coble, we drove to Camping World to pick up a few things that we needed.  Afterwards we had dinner and back home.

October 30 –Today we drove to Wil-Ro and took a look at one of the finished trucks.  It was a very nice conversion, with a great finished look.  Don took us out for a test drive. The truck rides well and Dick said it was as easy to drive as our F550 is.

            When we got back to the plant, Dick was asking Don about hitches and he took us into the shop to show us a Trailer Saver they were going to install onto a full sized semi-truck.  The couple who owned the truck was there and we enjoyed talking to them. 

            We drove back home and spent the rest of the afternoon quietly.  We went to dinner, then back home for the evening.

October 31Happy Halloween!  Millie was not feeling well today so we just stayed home and let her rest.  We had dinner at the Cracker Barrel, and then watched TV until bedtime.  Around 5:00 a little girl knocked on our door, passing out Halloween cookies to everyone.  Other than that it was an uneventful evening.